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Blogs - Kristin Carpenter

April 3, 2014

Plugging Away In A Program

There are a lot of ways to approach this sport, and for any general rule that you create there will be very successful exceptions. The battles wage online over every choice we make: turnout all day or stall part time, hacking on roads or staying on softer ground, competing only as needed to qualify or every three weeks, warming up for ten minutes or practically doing a lesson before you enter the ring.

Everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately everyone seems to think theirs is the only correct way.

March 20, 2014

Eventing Is Our Sport To Shape And Support

Chronicle blogger and amateur eventer Kristin Carpenter joins the conversation that blogger Doug Payne started about the future of eventing.  

When I first read Doug Payne’s piece, my immediate response was, “YES.”

Yes to opening up a discussion, yes to ideas to wrangle the sky-rocketing entry fees and widening the base, yes to ways to make our professionals’ lives easier in any capacity so that they can compete with the best in the world.

March 3, 2014

The Things That Might Have Been

A year ago I was preparing for what I hoped to be my first advanced horse trial on my off-the-track Thoroughbred, Trance, but my partner of 12 years got injured at the last minute. I wrote about it in The Things That Time Steals, and in that blog I contemplated his retirement.

December 27, 2013

Being Enough

Every year the holidays bring a wave of introspection to most, and I see countless articles telling me that I should be thankful, that happiness is loving what you have not having what you love, etc.

Closely following this is a second wave of post-Christmas and pre-New Year’s articles telling me to be the person I could be. So many promises for 2014: I could be smarter, I could make more money, I could save more money, I could be thinner, I could cook more, etc.

December 13, 2013

The Pitfalls Of Potential

Potential. It is a word that inspires our hopes, fills our dreams, and encourages us to get up each morning and try to be better.  But potential is a double-edged sword: it lies.

It makes promises that often go unfulfilled, and can lead to poor decision-making and costly long-term investment. No one would ever become great without pursuing potential, but a necessary life lesson is that potential is an empty promise without the other oh-so-important building blocks of success—hard work, determination and desire.

November 5, 2013

I've Got A Flag Hunter

I had a great weekend on Oct. 25-27 with my 5-year-old off-the-track mare, Khaleesi (Lizzie). I chose to take her to the training three-day at the Waredaca Horse Trials (Md.), because I personally found the long format to be such a strong tool in Trance’s development.


23 weeks 3 days ago

Congratulations! Lizzie is

Congratulations! Lizzie is so pretty, and fun to read about!
October 24, 2013

Trading Up

I think you can tell more about a person by how they handle a loss than how they handle a win. There are often two categories of riders: those who blame themselves for everything, and those who blame the horse for everything.

The reality, of course, is always in the middle. In my mind, to compete is to challenge your partnership with your horse. Over the course of the weekend your partnership will shine, struggle, and hopefully emerge stronger.

October 11, 2013

Laughing Through Last Place

I have an old VHS video of one of my horse trials when I was 12. I was on my 12-year-old Arabian, who would let me jump him almost 5’ bareback at home but would never perform at a show.

On the video, I am making my third attempt at beginner novice. I set out with a fiery heart and dreams of wild success. On that course I had four stops and a fall, but as I cleared the last fence I dropped the reins, threw my arms around his neck, and screamed, “I love you SO MUCH! You are amazing!! WE DID IT!!”


26 weeks 6 days ago


Loved reading this entry. Your attitude is priceless!! Keep smiling and laughing and spreading the joy :-))!
August 13, 2013

The Souls The Barn Builds

I own a company, Linder Educational Coaching, which works with kids having trouble in school. While my company works with a variety of issues, I tend to specialize in teenage boys with behavioral issues. I now live in Arlington, Va., with a mere two miles to the U.S. Capitol in the District. However, I grew up in the rural south in a small town outside of Baton Rouge, La. I often feel that if I could take the kids I work with here and make them work at a barn, a large amount of their issues would disappear.


35 weeks 2 days ago

Thank You! Those of us who

Thank You! Those of us who have lived this life know how true this is.
35 weeks 2 days ago

Thank you for putting into

Thank you for putting into words what so many hard working and dedicated riders feel about these wonderful places that have filled out souls with kindness, love, and passion. It always seems like the barn is the best place to go when times are tough and one is feeling down, as it always has a way of putting the right people, horse, or situation in front of us to put things in perspective. I cannot even begin to fathom a life without of the wonderful warmth and unconditional love of a barn has to offer.
35 weeks 1 day ago

The Souls....

Carol Ames
34 weeks 6 days ago

ECcellent! You have

Exxcellent! You have definitely told it "as it us!" I am wiping away tears of remembrance, realizing how blessed I/ we are are to have had such experiences; when I hear friends speak of problems with their children, I reflexively say "get them a horse; what I should say is get them into a good barn; I/ Perhaps when people under stand the importance ; perhaps they will put as much time and effort into picking the "right" into barn as they do the "right" college unfortunately/ sadly the draw of being part of a BIG NAME) trainer/ instructor/ school is the deciding factor for most/ many choices
Carol Ames
34 weeks 5 days ago

I'm not sure how to phrase

I'm not sure how to phrase this; the importance of doing what needs to be done; if, you see a fence rail is down; pick up a hammer, nails, if necessary ANOTHER RAIL AND NAIL IT IN PLACE;if you need a sense of accomplishment; bush hog a field; doing what needs to be done has aa definitetieover to riding; especially in the hunt field also on cross country but, also doing anything with a horse
Susan Kinney
31 weeks 3 days ago

The Souls the Barn Built

All I can say is that you are a gifted writer - I read your words and the tears pushed in response. Thank you.
July 26, 2013

Can You Take The Heat?

I am always careful to only pick a battle that I can win. Lizzie has repeatedly tested my tried and true methods by having days when she just decides she doesn’t want a thing to do with me. Or the fly spray. Or the hay I bought her. She is the first mare I have owned, and the fact she was female was a very small factor in my decision-making process. I mean, if I were a horse I would be a mare, so how much can I hold against her?


37 weeks 15 hours ago

Been there, done that!

If the ups and downs of dealing with heat cycles becomes too problematic, don't hesitate to have your mare spayed. I too, dealt with this problem in my own mare, and after much expense and angst, decided on spaying. It was the best move I ever made. I have a much more reliable partner now, the surgery was done standing, and the downtime was minimal. She is even a happier individual for it.